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Communion Meditations (2012)


Originally scheduled for June 3

One of the great things about American business life is that there is almost always some company out there that makes the product you want.  Whatever your business need, there is usually someone to supply it.  For example, most businesses like to be able to put something on your desk to remind you of their products and services.  So they give you various items with their logo and phone number.

Various items?  Do any of you have any of these items on your desk?  Is someone’s logo on your coffee cup, letter opener, note pad (in all shapes, sizes and colors), pens, highlighters, binders, cookie jars (I’m not kidding), coasters, manicure kits, Teddy bears, squeezable stress toys and – believe it or not – a matchbook cover containing four aspirin tablets.  That last is just in case logo overload gives you a headache.

All these products are designed to cause you to remember someone’s product, service or company.  Communion serves a similar function:  to remind you of the sacrifice of Christ.  There are three reminders:

·         The bread reminds you of Christ’s body, and the pain he went through so that you might be saved.  It tells you that this was not some sort of ghost or vision, but someone just as human as we are.

·         The cup reminds you of Christ’s blood, and the lesson from the Old Testament:  without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin.  In blood there is life – ask anyone who’s ever received a transfusion – and it is Christ’s life blood which paid the price of your sins.

·         Finally, there is the command:  examine yourself.  Do not let this become empty ritual, but rather look into your own heart and bring the evil you find there to the Cross.

This works – much better than getting a coffee cup.  Why has this worked so well for two thousand years?

·         You see the coffee cup – but you see, feel, smell and taste the body and blood of Christ.  We learn through our senses; we learn through repetition.

·         You take it – and you are thankful.  Unless you are brain dead, you cannot miss the message of the grace of God given to us in Communion.

·         Finally, Communion reminds you of Someone:  the one on whom you call for your help.  You know to whom you should pray.

People can be quite forgetful; God knows that.  He gave us Communion so that we might remember.

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